Grand National Championships Event Procedures

$975 registration fee  

The Bands of America Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha, is America’s premier marching band event. First and foremost an educational performance and evaluation opportunity, registration is open to all high school marching bands. Grand Nationals is a celebration of musical excellence that also includes an Expo, all in the spectacular Lucas Oil Stadium, which was designed with marching music performances in mind.

Grand National participating bands receive:  

  • Participating band students are admitted free to their non-performance day Prelims and Semi-Finals general admission seating (new in 2021!)
  • 25 Field Passes for Preliminaries, with an option to purchase more (for the day your band performs)
  • 6 Director / Staff Badges* good for admission to Prelims, Semi-Finals, and Finals, with an option to purchase more

All Bands 325 Miles or Further from Indianapolis
Bands of America recognizes that the travel distance for some bands will necessitate missing one to two days of school just for travel time. In order to retain the integrity of Grand Nationals as a national championship and enable bands from across the nation to participate, BOA will allow bands traveling from schools located more than 325 miles (one way) from Indianapolis to choose to either be part of the regular performance time draw OR choose to participate in a special draw for the first block of times of Friday Prelims. Bands from schools more than 325 miles (one way) from Indianapolis must select their preference on the application form.

Thursday Prelims Performance Volunteer Opportunity
It is feasible for groups within an approximate 200-mile radius of Indianapolis to perform on Thursday, return home for a full day of school on Friday, then return to Indianapolis. Bands can select this option on the application form.

If you do not qualify for the milage option and/or do not volunteer for Thursday, all other bands will be placed in a random draw for the remaining performance times.

Grand Nationals Adjudication Format
The Grand National Championships is a three-day Preliminary, Semi-Finals, and Finals event that has a maximum of 118 participating bands. Judging responsibilities will be divided into Panel 1 and Panel 2, alternating between blocks over Thursday and Friday, balanced with like numbers of bands from each class. A minimum of 30 bands will then advance to Semi-Finals with a formula that ensures inclusion of representatives of each of the four classes and top scoring bands from the two separate Prelims panels and the overall event. (See BOA Official Procedures and Adjudication Handbook for specifics.) The top 12 scoring bands from Semi-Finals, regardless of class, advance to Saturday evening’s Finals.

Copyright Documentation
Music for All takes care to comply with copyright laws and requires compliance by those who participate in our events.

Classification System
Per our commitment to re-evaluate the classification system, classification numbers are re-evaluated assessing every three years of data. Classification numbers are being updated for the 2022 season and will be published here as soon as finalized. Bands are classified by school enrollment, grades 10-12 only. Bands of America has a four-class system. For purposes of determining enrollment, your principal must certify enrollment and consider all those students in the grades 10-12 population as reported on fall State and/or FTE funding reports.

Download the Bands of America Championships Rules and Procedures Handbook from, in the “resources” area. It includes sample scoresheets and detailed evaluation criteria designed to support your teaching. The 2022 Handbook will be released in May 2022. Download the 2021 version*
*there may be changes

Use the BOA Adjudication System for your competition
Music for All believes that its Bands of America Adjudication System is a model for successful teaching and evaluation. If you would like to use the BOA adjudication sheets for your show or circuit, they are available for licensing. See License Agreement at the end of the Handbook or call BOA at 800.848.2263 for more information.

Music Performance Individual
Possible Total – 20
Music Performance Individual judge is located on the field.
Music Performance Ensemble
Possible Total – 20
Music Performance Ensemble judge is located at a vantage point from above.
Visual Performance Individual
Possible Total – 20
Visual Performance Individual judge is located on the field.
Visual Performance Ensemble
Possible Total – 20
Visual Performance Ensemble judge is located at a vantage point from above.
Music General Effect
Possible Total – 40
There are two Music General Effect judges, located above, each with 20 possible points that are then added for a total of 40 possible General Effect Music points.
Visual General Effect
Possible Total – 20
Visual General Effect judge is located at a vantage point from above.
Music Performance scores are averaged for a total of 20 possible points. Visual Performance scores are averaged – possible 20 points. The Music and Visual averages are added to the G.E. Music total (40) and G.E. visual score (20) for a possible total of 100 points. Any penalties are then deducted for the Final Score.

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